For the longest time, I've been wondering who eventually takes Jeter's spot at SS, whenever the opening appears. I've read a bunch about various glovemen over the last few years, but none could hold a bat. But now, there appears to be a front runner:
Fact is, Pena has always demonstrated world class defense since being signed by the Yankees out of Mexico in 2005, but his improvement with the bat is what's elevated him to legitimate major league prospect status.
"When I first saw him three years ago, you could knock the bat out of his hands," said one veteran scout whose primary assignment is in the minor leagues. "But he was a magician with the glove and that made him someone to keep an eye on.
Now that he's gained a little weight, put on a little muscle, he's no longer an 'out'. He can handle the bat. I always felt his glove would get him to the big leagues, but now I can see him as an everyday shortstop."
"Best looking young shortstop I've seen in a couple of years," said one National League scout.